Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Biosciences Science Club Events 18 May 2017

Biosciences Science Club Series - Spring 2017
18 May 2017 - 9:30am - Wallace Board Room (226a)

In Search of Resilience: Lessons from Ecology for Applied Conservation

Professor Victoria Braithwaite

Typical Adirondack Lake Setting. Photo from Victoria Braithwaite

We are very excited to host this week Professor Victoria Braithwaite, Professor of Fisheries and Biology at Penn State University (USA), Co-Director of the Center for Brain, Behavior & Cognition (CBBC) and one of the leading scientists in the fields of animal cognition and welfare and the author of the highly acclaimed book ‘Do Fish Feel Pain?’. Victoria is broadly interested in animal behaviour, especially animal cognition - identifying the mechanisms that underlie cognition and decision making, as well as the environmental context and evolutionary history shaping how animals behave. To do so she uses fish and rodent models, investigating questions from the level of neurobiology and physiology to whole animal behaviour. her group's research projects (see here) range from Cognitive Ecology, to Pain in Fish, Fish Welfare and Brain Function, to Conservation and Restocking and Stress and Behavioural Development.

The environment a fish experiences as it develops influences the way its brain develops, the way it perceives its environment, its physiology and behavior. Understanding how these processes occur in natural populations of fish can be useful to help us devise rearing methods for fish that will be released as part of restocking projects where the aim is to bolster threatened or dwindling populations. Until recently, we have tended to play a numbers game where many millions of fish are released in the hope that some will survive. I will present data from experiments indicating that a more targeted approach where fewer, but smarter fish, are reared is a better long term strategy.

Hope to see many of you - everyone most welcome to attend!

For the list of forthcoming Science Club Events, see here

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